British funded solar lights installed at National Park

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The solar powered lights at night

The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) in collaboration with the British High Commission saw the installation of forty five (45) integrated stand-alone solar powered 80W Light Emitted Diode (LED) street lights at the Guyana National Park.

GEA’s Energy Engineer Brian Constantine, who monitored the installation of the lights, explained that the project was financed by the British High Commission in Georgetown, through the UK’s Prosperity Fund, at a total cost of G$8,158,288. He further explained that the supply and installation cost translates into a unit cost of $178,500 per light.

The project involved the replacement of inefficient mercury vapour lamps in the National Park, each rated at 250 watts, with the more energy efficient 80-Watt solar powered LED lights.

One of the mounted lights up close

Integrated solar powered street light uses renewable energy from the sun to charge the batteries which provide lighting at nights using energy efficient LED lights. The lights are controlled by a light sensitive and timer controlled circuit to switch the lights on in the evenings and turn them off at dawn.

Prior to the installation, GEA had conducted the relevant evaluations as Solar Powered Street Lights are not appropriate for deployment at all locations. Locations for the use of solar-powered street lights have to be carefully reviewed to ensure that they are not shaded and have sufficient space on the existing poles to accommodate the structures.

Otherwise, separate poles have to be installed to accommodate the lights which can add to the cost.

In the case of this particular project, it was determined that the existing poles at the National Park would be utilized as just a minor modification was needed to minimize the amount of shading on the surface of the module.

According to the GEA in a release it is estimated that 49,275kWh of energy and 29,565kg of CO2 emissions annually will be avoided/saved through this investment.

From Left: GEA CEO Dr Mahender Sharmam, Ms Denise Fraser, High Commissioner Gregg Quinn and Ms Britton

This, the GEA said, translates to over G$2,800,000 yearly in savings in electricity costs, with the payback on this investment being about four (4) years.

“As part of the energy conservation features of the initiative, the technology dims the lights by 50% when motion is not detected and returns to 100% brightness when motion is detected”

Dr Mahender Sharma, GEA CEO expressed gratitude to the British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, and his staff for their support in making it possible to provide renewable energy and efficient lighting to the users of the National Park.

Commenting on the project High Commissioner Greg Quinn said “it is incumbent on us all to do what we can to mitigate our impact on the environment and to improve energy efficiency.  The High Commission therefore welcomed the opportunity to work with the GEA to install these lights.”

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